McLaren: What now?


Staff Member
What with one thing and another, one of the big stories of the weekend has been completely overlooked and that is McLaren's EBD didn't seem to deliver the performance the team expected it would.

If anything, they have moved even further behind Red Bull and have also now been leap-frogged by Ferrari, thanks to them utilising the same trick of retarding the ignition on overrun.

So where do McLaren go from here?
Can Mercedes/McLaren also implement this system in their engine to close the what is now more than a 0.5 second gap in qualifying?

If not then after a few short races McLaren could find themselves slipping down the order and both titles out of their grasp.

The fact that Lewis and Jenson occupy P1 and P2 and McLaren lead the WCC says a lot about their consistency and race performance but in reality it should really be Red Bull and Ferrari who are up there.
Well they didnt really have any proper testing time this weekend due to crashes and weather, but with Hungary being a very good Red Bull and Ferrari track, they will need to get it working, and with all forecasts predicting 30 degrees and sun, McLaren will have a full day on Friday to fine-tune that diffuser
I don't think it is as much doom and gloom as it appears to be Brogan. Granted, McLaren today looked o be seriously off the pace, but it is also the first full weekend that they have ran their blown diffuser.

If we look back to Valencia, Ferrari, although appearing to be slightly quicker did not seem to have achieved the gains they believed they would from their EBD, and still looked behind the McLarens. Three races later however, and they are starting to see those publicised gains.

This is obviously a case of the EBD system being something that you do not get the performance out of immediately. Hopefully McLaren have now gained a lot of useful data, will be able to review it and revise the exhaust system, diffuser and most importantly the floor.

By all accounts, Ferrari were also running the RBR engine management system this weekend, to give them constant exhaust flow over the diffuser, probably giving them several tenths.

Hopefully a race or two will see McLaren start to understand the EBD, get to grips with the engine management system, and jump back up to the levels of the RedBulls and Ferraris. The balance is obviously not quite right at the moment, which is probably significantly denting the drivers abilities to improve the lap time.

A further factor that could be adding to the speed of those two is those new flexing front wings that were bought this weekend. I'm sure we will see McLaren with their own version soon enough, now that they have passed scrutineering.
McLaren chose a relatively low downforce aero configuration for their cars this weekend which probably helped negate any downforce gains they may have made with the EBD. Lewis maintained that it was the best configuration for their car but I suspect they were counting on the EBD working more effectively than it actually did.
I think it's fair to say now that the EBD hasn't achieved the gains that were expected, quite the opposite in fact.

Renault and Mercedes have moved ahead of them judging by the P3 times at Hungary, although this circuit does particularly suit both of them.

With no testing available before the next race, I think McLaren would be better off removing the EBD and concentrating all their efforts on copying Red Bull's front wing.

At the current levels of performance, McLaren will finish the WCC a distant 3rd.
As Christian Horner keeps saying there is no single silver bullet, admittedly Mclaren have a lot of work to do and i'd be more inclined to say that they need to look at the front wing in producing better airflow characteristics to the rear of the car that will help the EBD and give a greater performance advantage.
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